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SUBJECT: # 12073: How well does a Toyota Tacoma tow a 20 ft glass boat

Submitted by GeorgeP ( from MASSACHUSETTS on 7/18/2006 7:04:00 PM

Anyone towing a 20 foot fiberglass boat with a Toyota tacoma? I've got a 20 foot triton with a 200 HP motor.

How is it on hills?
What type of gas mileage?


  1. 7/18/2006 11:18:00 PM Submitted by bsktball55 ( from MO says tacoma
    Are you talking about the 2005-2006 tacoma? There is quite a bit of difference between them and the older ones. I have a 2005 quad cab 4x4 tacoma and it pulls my 19' javelin with a 150 fine. I was pulling about 75mph and it didn't have any problems. On the hills it would run around 3000 rpms maybe a little higher, but I was able to accelerate if I needed to. I think it drank quite a bit of gas, can't give you a number because I haven't pulled if far yet and only part of my tank was used for towing. I'm pretty sure the needle was dropping quite a bit faster than it usually does though.

  2. 7/18/2006 11:23:00 PM Submitted by Steve P. from FL says Not a good idea.
    The truck is just too small. The boat would push it all over the road. I know that they are two different vehicles but I towed my 19 ft Basscat about 50 miles with my friend's 02ish 4 Runner. I had to buy him a new steering wheel because I was gripping it so hard from the sheer horror of not knowing if I would live or die!!LOL Also had to buy him a new seat but I won't go into details.LOL

    If you want to get a Toyota, you definately need a Tundra for towing that rig. The Tacoma V-6 would be working so hard, that MPG would be pretty close but that's just a guess. I get 12 MPG towing with my Tundra just for reference. You will be very disappointed with the Tacoma with a rig that big.

  3. 7/18/2006 11:25:00 PM Submitted by Steve P. from FL says Sorry Bsktball55
    Wasn't trying to disagree with you. Your post wasn't up when I was making mine. I haven't driven a new one yet. They look nice.

  4. 7/18/2006 11:26:00 PM Submitted by BASSMAN IA. from IA says not sure there
    George, but from what I have read on this page they are number 1, they put a 454 Chevy to shame, Durmax., Powerstroke-------- doesn't hold a candle. I even heard in a quarter mile race a Tacoma drove right around John Force's funny car. Not sure about the last sentence but when WJ comes back to town to hang out with my ex-racing partner ----------- I'll ask him Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  5. 7/19/2006 12:30:00 AM Submitted by bsktball55 ( from MO says tacoma
    I personally did not have any problems controlling the truck at all. I know my tacoma has a much longer wheel base then a 4runner which may help it. I believe my wheel base is within an inch or two of my dads tundra. It may even be longer. The only problem I felt was with braking. You could feel the boat pushing you a little bit, but it was nothing that was scary or I felt like I was not in control.

  6. 7/19/2006 8:52:00 AM Submitted by JohnM from KY says The new Tacoma will do it
    With that being said I'd still rather have the extra weight of a 03 or newer 4-Runner or a Tundra for a 20 footer all the time. For sure you'll want the V-8, before you hog pile I know the V-6 has more HP but the V-8 has lots more tourque for pulling. I've drug my friends 201 Stratos all over with my 04 V-8 4-Runnner and many other 20 footers to and from boat shows with no problems. All 20 footers should have trailer brakes unless your towing with Bassmans rig LOL. Like we say riding bikes "it's not the speed that get's you, it's the sudden stop" that Tacoma just doesn't have enough weight in the rear end to comfortably control a 20 footer for me. Expect around 12 MPG towing the boat no matter what you buy short of an oil burner.

  7. 7/19/2006 12:34:00 PM Submitted by GeorgeP ( from MA says Thanks guys
    thanks for the info. I searched on tacoma and saw many of the same opinions. It is good to know that stopping becomes the real issue and the 05's and beyond are better suited to that task.

    Right now I'm towing with a 2005 F150 SuperCrew. I love this truck and it tows my boat like it wasn't even there. The reason for asking this question is that between the car payments and the gas, it is just costing too much. When I bought this truck I think gas was $150 a gallon and has doubled since.

    I'm towing this boat once or twice a week, so I was hoping to find a less costly vehicle and one that is more fuel efficient when not towing the boat. My work is 12 miles each way, so getting a seperate car for just that doesn't create the possiblility for enough ROI.

    Hindsight is 20/20 and right now I'm wishing I had kept my expedition or bought the F150 used. If car payments weren't so high, cost of gas wouldn't have caused me to think about parting with my current Truck.

    The tacoma is a nice looking truck, but in the end I could possibly be making a trade-off being safety (braking) and a couple of grand a year. Probably not a good trade-off to make.

    Maybe getting into a lease is another way to go, I need to do the math. Out of pocket expenses in making any switch needs to be factored into the potential savings as well.

    I'm in a situation right now where gas is causing me just enough pain to consider many options, but when I evaluate the choices, gas is not enough of a pain for me to do anything.

  8. 7/19/2006 2:00:00 PM Submitted by JohnM from KY says Oh we can't let this go this easy LOL
    Bsktball55 I got to wondering about wheelbase etc.. and looked them up. The longest wheelbase Tacaoma is 140 inches and 64 inches wide. The 2005 F-150 "SuperCab" wheelbase is 138.5 and 67 inches wide. One of these days some will realize the "metric" trucks are not just "little toy's" anymore. Remember that comparison was the the little Tacoma against the big Ford Supercrew. Times change, personally I like having choices and shop ALL the different brands EVERY time I make a vehicle purchase since it's the second biggest purchase most of us make next to a house. George I think keeping what you have is the wise decision for now as long as it's serving you well. I've had a couple of small trucks and they really don't get much better mileage not towing and they don't get any better mileage towing. Now let the hog pile begin LOL!

  9. 7/19/2006 2:06:00 PM Submitted by Toonafish from GA says George...
    There is about 900 lbs. weight difference between the Tocoma double cab and the Tundra double cab. The Tocoma will definately pull a 20 footer but the engine will be working hard. Stopping power on the Tacoma with a 20 footer would be questionable, especially on a wet surface.

    As for the gas mileage, I would guess 18-19 around town and 22-23 on the highway unloaded.

    As far as the Tundra's mileage, I towed my 18 foot Ranger to Florida during the week of the BMC and averaged 13.8 mpg. All in overdrive, none of that 3rd gear stuff.

  10. 7/19/2006 3:22:00 PM Submitted by Dan ( from TX says george, think they are getting off track...
    With your situation and concern of gas I think it would be best to keep your F150. You are happy with it and you would loose quite a bit of $$$ selling it (don't know what you owe on it?) and then buying a new truck. Also even while smaller trucks the tacoma's are expensive... One of my friends paid more for his brand new than I did my fullsize truck, and I gauruntee mine can pull my boat much better than the tacoma...

    I think if you did this you would be out 2-5Grand and not be satisfied with the power of the tacoma while towing.

    Like you said the F150 pulls it like it's not there, if it ain't broke don't fix it...

  11. 7/26/2006 10:08:00 AM Submitted by Johnny ( from FL says The Tacoma will pull your boat fine!
    But, it's all about what you want and what you want to accomplish. I purchased a 2006 Chevy Colorado (5 cylinder) 11 months ago. I wanted a Tacoma, but the dealers were not willing to deal, so I looked elsewhere and saved several thousand dollars. I drive about 600-700 miles per week and 150-200 of those miles are pulling a 19' Triton bass boat. It pulls the boat fine and also stops fine but I do have brakes on my trailer. I am also in Florida where there's not a lot of big hills to pull. The truck gets 20 MPG in town, 25 MPG on the highway and 15 MPG pulling the boat and I check it every time I fill it. Since most of my driving is without the boat, gas mileage is important to me with gas at $3 per gallon. If I wanted to drag race my buddies on the way to the ramp and gas mileage was not an issue, then I'd definitely have a V8 truck. With the smaller trucks you just have to drive sensibly. I have been pulling trailers for nearly 30 years and I am very satisfied with this small truck because it does just what I need it to do. Do the math and see if it makes sense to get a different truck. The bottom line is to drive whatever you will be happy with.

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